We started having weed problems (mostly dandelion) in our lawn last
summer I & was hoping to get some tips for better control this year.
I've seen several posts from people saying manually removing weeds is
the best bet, but each time I've tried that I either don't get the
roots or leave huge pot holes in my lawn. I've tried several weed
removal tools (i.e. "as seen on tv" weed pullers) that also leave the
big holes. I will start using Scott's spring fertilizer with weed
control soon, but it didn't seem to help much last year. Has anyone
had luck with any brand of lawn friendly herbicides? Any weed removal
gardening tool suggestions? Any tips for this lawn care newbie would
be appreciated :).
It sounds like your lawn is not very healthy. A good vigorous lawn will
crowd out weeds. It will not leave big holes when weeds are removed.
It could be a pH problem. The fertilizer will do little good if the
yard is too acid. You may need to lime before fertilizing. A good soil
test may be in order. It will tell you the pH, how to correct the pH
and what fertilizer if any you need.
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I would second the above, and suggest spraying just the weeds
with weed-b-gon using a handheld trigger sprayer. Once you have
the lawn growing good, wolking around with the sprayer a few
times a year will eliminate the weeds without the expense or
environmental risk of massive chemical applications.
If you only fertilize once per year, do it in the fall.
On Sun, 29 Feb 2004 15:06:50 -0800, JeffLaw wrote:
Mechanical weed removal works fine. I have used a combination of that and
Weed-B-Gon. This method works great on dandelions, creeping charlie and
other broadleaf pests. I usually make 2-3 applications over the entire
lawn at 2-3 week intervals. Eradicating creeping charlie works best if
you can hit the plant when it is blooming, a period in its life when all
the plant's energy goes into bloom production thereby weakening it a bit.
There's nothing wrong with chemicals as long as one uses common sense and
can read/follow instructions to the letter.
At the risk of starting a huge flame war (and hasn't it been quiet in that
regard lately?), not all chemical weed controls are exactly benign. I would
encourage the OP to consider something other than a combo weed'n feed type
product. This is probably the most inefficient and problematic use of
chemical herbicides. Run off with this type of material is flagrant - there
is more pollution of streams and ground water from residential use of weed
and feed products than from any other form of pesticide. Much better to use
manual control whenever possible or spot treat persistant perennial type
weeds rather than a broadcast granular product.
pam - gardengal
On Mon, 01 Mar 2004 13:00:03 +0000, Pam - gardengal wrote:
I always felt that runoff is problematic with regard to lawn treatment.
After hearing several lectures by turfgrass experts from the university's
turfgrass facility, I am now of a different opinion. Fertilizers and
chemicals do not wash off lawns and into streams and lakes. They go into
the soil which acts as a giant filter. Chemicals in use now have a short
life of just a few weeks. The only way to get chemicals to our waterways
is to physcially dump them in storm sewers.
On Mon, 01 Mar 2004 09:03:40 -0500, Eileen Dover wrote:
I'm doomed. There are black Suburbans with tinted windows in front of my
house as I write. The ornamental grasses are providing cover for the
oncoming assault. There's something moving near the compost heap. It's
more than bushes swaying in the wind, it's camo troops. I can hear a
distant rumble, not thunder but tanks and heavy artillery.
This will be my last missive for the garden police are about to storm the
I can't find my can of Raid. Send donuts. Maybe I can bait my traps and
catch them all.
Then perhaps you can explain why all of our local area streams and water
courses have been tested and found to be contaminated with unnaturally high
concentrations of 2, 4-D, trifluralin, dicamba and various other herbicides
most commonly found in weed and feed applications? And this is not just a
localized phenomenon - it is wide spread throughout the country and not just
in heavy agricultural areas. The information provided to your by your
turfgrass "experts" simply does not fit the facts. A simple google search
will turn up dozens of hits attesting to this. Herbicide and fertilizer
pollution of is a huge concern, not to mention that stuff can be rather
deadly to pets and small kids as well. Do your own research - don't rely
just on what folks with a vested interest in the process have to say.
Turfgrass 'experts' are unlikely to offer information that is
counterproductive to their source of income or could conceivably be
considered more work.
pam - gardengal
Dandelion is very easy to eradicate. It is a broadleaf plant. Not
seeing your lawn makes it difficult to recommend a specific procedure.
If there are less than 200 plants, use a spot treatment by mixing up
Weed-B-Gone or Spectricide in a pressurized garden sprayer. I prefer
the "water-proof" products where it does not matter if it rains after
6 hours. Apply the treatment on a sunny dry day.
I lived in a farming area much of my life. After seeing the tons and tons of
chemicals farmers used on their crops every year, I fail to understand the
fuss about home owners using a few pounds of fertilizers and weed killers on
their lawns two or three times a year.
A "few pounds of fertilizers and weed killers"? You seriously underestimate
the problem. In my area alone, the EPA estimates 1.1 MILLION pounds of
fertilizers and pesticides are dumped on our lawns annually. And that is
only the urban areas of a 8 county cummulative watershed in an extremely
environmentally conscious section of the country. Multiply that a few
hundred or a thousand times to address other urban areas across the country
and the total rapidly escalates into the billions of pounds. That is not
chump change to the pesticide manfacturers nor is it an insiginificant
impact on our watersheds. .
Unfortunately, a wide segment of the population shares your uninformed view
and the attitude of "what can it hurt if I use lawn chemicals, correctly or
incorrectly - I'm just one person" prevails. Let's look at the statistics -
and they're not even very current. In 1997, 4.6 BILLION pounds of pesticides
(not including fertilizers) were consumed in the US. Of this, about 2/3's
was utilized by the agricultural sector, the remainder by residential
homeowners. That's 1.5 billion pounds attributed to Joe Blow and his
neighbors and the data is six years old - I'd estimate the total is well
above 2 billion by now. Hardly an insignificant amount. This IS a problem
pam - gardengal
I don't care about a lawn actually, so mine is a variegated lawn! Some of
the "weeds" have pretty flowers and others are good for herbal remedies. I
mow when it gets too tall. I try to keep the "lawn" mowed to 3" only, no
shorter. Besides, now I get free food for my tortoise!
Who do you fuss at? Your tax collector? All of the people in your
neighborhood who use these "dangerous" chemicals, or just to the folks on
In any event fussing won't do you any good. Your neighbors will just roll
theirs eyes back into their heads and write you off as some sort of crazy.
The folks on this newsgroup seem to be mixed at the idea that the use of
organic materials on their lawns is the solution to all their varied lawn
problems. And you will be paying a "run-off" tax long after the Chesapeake
Bay dries up and has been turned into another housing development.
You come out with an uninformed and innaccurate statement which I contest
and then you accuse me of "fuzzy math"?? Okay, if you don't like the
statistics of the EPA then you present to us something to support the
accuracy of your view - if you can. Otherwise, it is evident to anyone with
a wit of intellegence and concern about the situation that you don't have a
pam - gardengal
That's correct "FUZZY MATH"
In your first paragraph you write the "EPA" ESTIMATES 1.1 Million pounds of
fertilizers and pesticides are DUMPED on our lawns annually. Right so far?
Then you instruct us to multiply that number by a few hundred or a THOUSAND
and the result will be in the Billions of pounds. Actually 1.1 Million
multiplied by your largest estimate of 1000 comes to just 1,100,000. Not
Billions as you state, but only 1.1 Billion. Sure as heck sounds like "FUZZY
MATH" to me, not to mention it being one hell of an exaggeration.
Your entire tirade is based only on YOUR opinions, estimates and unfounded
statements. Not once do you give a site or a verifiable quote from any
knowledgeable person to back up your claims. Then you have the unmitigated
gall to write that I am uninformed. I'm certain you mean well, but like all
other fanatics, you want everyone to blindly follow your rules.
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